Support the Café
Search our site

Two statements from St. John’s Church Lafayette Square

Two statements from St. John’s Church Lafayette Square

(Post-fire)

May 1, 2020
Dear St. John’s Community,
It has been a difficult night. If you have not seen it yet in the national news, a fire was set to St. John’s nursery tonight, but I am happy to report that the fire is completely out. I have just returned home from the church, and it is 1:58am as I begin writing this note.
My family and I had in fact left town on Friday for what we hoped would be a long weekend of R&R. We were essentially camping, almost totally off the grid. This morning our plan was to drive to where there was cell reception and watch the Pentecost service together. However, word got to me that the protest activity was intense and growing, so we quickly changed plans and drove back here as fast as we could.
In the car I was in touch with the wardens and also Bishop Mariann, with whom we have begun plans for making St. John’s a place for offering a ministry of presence—against racism and for God’s healing and compassion in the days ahead. I hope that many of you will join in this. (Please contact help@stjohns-dc.org to join this effort!)
The protests that began peacefully grew to something more, and eventually a fire was lit in the nursery, in the basement of Ashburton House.
Like many of you perhaps, I had little access to information about how bad the fire was while it was happening. It felt horrible to see glimpses of smoke rising by the stairs to our entrance on national TV, and then to have it confirmed with an up-close video showing the flames in the basement.
Fortunately, it was in fact completely extinguished. I just assessed the damage as best I could, in the semi-dark and with a flashing, bleating alarm system that I could not figure out how to shut off. My ears are still ringing, and I am still coughing a bit from various fumes I inhaled. But I am happy to share with you that I could see no other real damage besides that one room, and quite a bit of graffiti and debris around the exterior of the church. Protestors easily could have done a lot worse to our buildings, but they chose not to do that. (The damage I saw to other nearby buildings illustrated this point.)
None of this changes our purpose to be an instrument for God’s work through all of this, and in fact now more than ever. I pray for our collective wisdom, grace, courage and compassion as we move forward into what God is calling us to do and be next.
To the many of you who have reached out in various ways—thank you!
Shalom,
Rob+

 

Link: https://myemail.constantcontact.com/Early-Morning-Reflection—After-the-Fire.html?soid=1103211030371&aid=RgP3nEZsjHQ&fbclid=IwAR3nWnk8UrkQq0SPctLXGsSQFOjwXnAlcWYLZqg8nMyKBooa1nA7QRrBvsE


 


(Pre-fire)
Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart and especially the hearts of the people of this land, that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A Collect for Social Justice
The Book of Common Prayer , p. 823
Dear Parishioners,
We write to you with heavy, but hopeful hearts. Our community and our country are in anguish and unrest. And yet, we can see that thousands of people are lifting their voices and organizations are engaging in peaceful, meaningful action to ensure the life of George Floyd and countless others are not lost in vain. As Bishop Curry wrote this morning , in the upcoming days and weeks, we will unite as a church community to follow the path of love and to channel this anguish into concrete, productive and powerful action.
Given the recent media coverage of the protests, you may be concerned about our beloved church and parish house. We are fortunate that the damage to the buildings is limited. There is some exterior graffiti, and the protective glass over one of the more modern stained-glass windows on the north side of the narthex has been broken (the stained glass itself is unharmed). Thankfully, there is no damage inside either of the buildings. This morning we secured, as best we could, our most valuable items.
As you know, today is Pentecost, one of the church’s primary feasts. If we had been in church, we would surely have sung Sweet, Sweet Spirit , a St. John’s favorite. You know the words: “There’s a sweet, sweet spirit in this place, and I know it’s the spirit of the Lord. Sweet holy spirit, sweet heavenly dove, stay right here with us, filling us with your love.” Hymn 120, Lift Every Voice and Sing, II . It’s hard to imagine a more appropriate prayer for the place in which we as a nation find ourselves.
We promise to keep you up to date on any developments over the coming days. When it is possible, we will repair the physical damage to our church. Please pray that our country can heal the wounds laid bare by the tragic and unnecessary death of George Floyd.
We are proud to be a church that welcomes all and champions the path of love.
In peace,
The Rev. Rob Fisher, Rector
Paul Barkett, Senior Warden
Jeff Hanston, Junior Warden

 

Link: https://myemail.constantcontact.com/Heavy–but-Hopeful-Hearts.html?soid=1103211030371&aid=kw0JtCRTuDI

Dislike (1)
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Facebooktwitterrss
Support the Café
Past Posts
2020_001
2020_008

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café